Kratom for Veterans: A New Approach to Wellness

Introduction

Today we’re going to discuss a topic that’s really close to home—kratom for veterans. It’s an area of kratom that doesn’t get enough attention, so we want to play a more active role in helping veterans learn about kratom.

The goal is to outline a couple of the big issues relating to kratom for veterans. We’ll start by describing some of the unique challenges veterans deal with every day. Then we’ll explain how kratom can be part of the solution.

In order to raise awareness about kratom for veterans, it’s important to understand the VA’s current stance on kratom. As you’ll learn, even though the VA is actively seeking information about alternative paths to recovery for veterans, they haven’t taken a serious look at kratom.

We believe the kratom community—a group well versed in grassroot activism—can help change this. We’ll end with a discussion of what we’re doing with the veteran community and share some ways you can participate.

And if you’re a veteran looking for kratom, you can scroll to the bottom of this post to learn about our veteran discount program.

Military Veteran Recovery: The Need for New Solutions

As most people know, there’s a problem with our current approach to veteran wellness. The VA is full of well-intentioned people who know their current approach simply isn’t working.

And the data paints a clear picture. According to data from the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, there were over 6000 veteran suicides in 2019. This means that there were, on average, 17 veteran suicides a day. More than double the rate found in the rest of the population.

Underneath this disturbingly high veteran suicide rate is a huge group of veterans suffering from combat-related PTSD, substance use disorders, chronic pain, and mood issues.

To highlight how long this issue has been around, in 2011 alone, the VA provided PTSD treatment to 500,000 veterans. In short, this is a massive, well-known problem that the VA is struggling to address. To add insult to injury, there are new treatment options that the VA is interested in—psychedelics and marijuana — are at the top of the list, but federal laws are preventing further exploration.

According to a 2020 federal commission report about ways to improve veteran mental health, the big roadblock is these substances’ classification as Schedule 1 under the Controlled Substance Act.

Until that changes, the report concludes, the VA will not be able to conduct the research needed to use these substances as part of a recovery program. The report didn’t discuss kratom, but we think it should be part of the conversation.  

Why the VA Should Study Kratom

We believe these reports outline one of the main reasons the VA should reconsider its stance on kratom. It’s not a Schedule 1 controlled substance! Thanks to an unbelievable amount of work by the US kratom community, we’ve kept kratom from being scheduled, which means the VA could actually research it.

There would still be challenges based on the FDA’s and DEA’s current stance on kratom (see here). But multiple veteran organizations and members of congress are asking the VA to look at the science for themselves. Instead of blindly accepting the FDA’s view of kratom, which has been heavily criticized, doesn’t it make more sense to review the actual kratom research?

Researchers have published dozens of new kratom studies in recent years, and even though there are lots of unanswered questions, we know pure kratom is safe. The problem is contamination, which is easy to avoid by buying from reputable kratom vendors.

And we’re not alone in advocating for new options for veterans. During a recent congressional hearing with the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Minority Veterans of America summarized things well in their written statement:

“The epidemic of substance use disorder and other mental health crises among veterans demonstrates the need for innovative therapies that extend beyond traditional psychopharmacological interventions.”

Considering the current situation, it’s hard to believe the VA isn’t recommending kratom as a potential tool for veterans. In our view, millions of Americans using kratom every day with positive results should be enough to convince the VA that kratom could help veterans. But they’re silent on the issue, so it’s on us to spread the message.

In other words, we know that veterans who get health advice from the VA aren’t being told about kratom, cannabis, or a number of other natural products that people use every day with good results. Whether its mood, energy, or relief, there are thousands of military veterans with issues that kratom is known for helping with. As a veteran-owned company, we think the call to action is simple: help more veterans learn about kratom!

How Kratom Helps Veterans

Let’s outline a few ways kratom can help veterans.

One of the first challenges veterans face is transitioning from military to civilian life. It’s a stressful period that normally involves finding a new job, moving to a new city, and developing all new habits.

And for the veterans already suffering from combat-related physical or mental issues, it can be even more challenging. This is a perfect time for veterans to try kratom.

The challenge, of course, is that most new veterans don’t know about kratom, as they weren’t allowed to use it while in the military. When you also consider the fact that the VA doesn’t recommend kratom, it’s no surprise most veterans leaving the military don’t know about kratom.

Another big reason we’re trying to raise awareness about kratom for veterans relates to the veteran prescription problem. Some veterans are over prescribed medications without good support systems in place, which can lead to overuse or abuse. Others suffer from the opposite problem—they can’t get the medications they need.

Although kratom is closer to coffee than what the VA typically provides, kratom is available, affordable, and effective. These three attributes help people feel hopeful that things will get better. This can be a huge motivator for someone who is trying to develop new wellness habits.

As Gen. Joseph M. Martin recently explained in a briefing about the Army’s new 2022 Suicide Prevention Program:

“We, as leaders, owe it to each Soldier to educate their leaders at every echelon on how to recognize signs of mental health challenges, where to seek the appropriate resources and the importance of ensuring individuals feel connected to others.”

The same idea applies to normal citizens. Talking to a veteran going through a hard time about kratom is a little action that could have a life-changing effect.

Where to Buy Kratom for Veterans

Although many veterans face periods of financial difficulty after leaving the military, kratom is surprisingly affordable. When you buy kratom from a reputable online kratom vendor, high quality kratom is a couple of dollars per serving.

Pro-tip: Avoid buying head shop or gas station kratom if cost is a concern. Especially certain products like kratom extract tablets or shots. We’ve seen kratom extracts at head shops for $20+ a serving. This is ridiculously overpriced for a single-use daily wellness practice.  

As a veteran owned business, we want to be a resource for other veterans looking for reliable information about kratom. We also want to be the brand veterans can come to for kratom tea, information about safe consumption, and collaborations relating to helping other veterans.

To show support for the community, we’re proud to also offer a Veteran Discount Program – a 25% storewide discount for US military veterans. The ultimate goal of the program is twofold. We want to expand veteran access to affordable, high quality kratom tea. As well as incentive veterans to give kratom a try and share their experience with other veterans.

Although we’ve been talking about the unique needs of veterans, we understand that first responder face similar challenges, so we invite all first responders to join the program as well. Here’s how you sign up.

Military Discount Program

To join the Military Discount Program, simply fill out the form below! You can also email us at [email protected] with subject line “Military Discount Program.” In order to verify service, please remove any sensitive personal information and send us a scan or photo of one of the following documents:

  • DD-214
  • VA card
  • Military service record
  • Driver’s license showing veteran service

Once we verify your veteran status, we’ll update your account so the 25% off storewide discount automatically applied at checkout. And what if you’re already a customer? We’ll simply apply the discount to your account so you can continue using the same login information.

It’s that easy! The military kratom discount is valid for your first $300 in orders every month. The program is currently available for veterans and first responders, but not friends or family. However, we encourage everyone to check out the Top Tree Deal Club for exclusive monthly deals and specials.

Kratom For Veterans: A Community Effort

Our co-founder Sam Weber is a US Air Force veteran. As a cargo aircraft crew member, Sam helped transport over 5k military personal to active combat airfields, an experience that fuels our ongoing commitment to helping veterans today.

Our goal is to use kratom tea to help empower veterans to have happy, healthy lives after the military. To that end, Top Tree Herbs is a proud supporter of two veteran organizations. Veterans Walk and Talk (@veteranswalkandtalk); and the Adaptive Training Foundation (@adaptivetrainingfoundation).

On March 23rd, Sam flew to Dallas to visit the Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF) team and the latest class of veteran athletes. ATF was founded by ex-NFL player David Vobora, who first opened up his gym to US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee who didn’t have the customized training support he needed.

Vobora soon realized that there were no programs or gyms designed to “bridge the gap from basic functional rehabilitation to adapted sport.” They’re on a mission to fix that.

ATF offers 9-weeks of customized training and access to a group of other individuals experiencing similar struggles, all for free. As part of our first sponsorship initiative with ATF, we provided every athlete with a variety of kratom teas and brew equipment so they could use kratom as part of their wellness practice.

The initial trial was a big success, with multiple ATF veteran athletes learning to use kratom tea before working out, as well as in the evenings to wind down from a long day of training.

Memorial Day Veteran March

Sharing kratom tea can be genuinely rewarding! This Memorial Weekend, we joined the Adaptive Training Foundation for the 2022 Carry the Load Memorial March through Rivereon Park.

We saw over 20K veterans, friends, and families come together in support of our fallen veteran brothers and sisters. We heard countless veteran stories that highlighted the unique needs of the community. The whole weekend highlighted the need for more tools that support veteran wellness.

In our view, helping veterans with kratom starts with education. To get things started, we held kratom tea brewing classes for the ATF athletes, provided kratom tea, and gifted brew equipment to each athlete.

The first goal of this collaboration is helping ATF athletes learn how to use kratom responsibly and effectively. Over time, the lessons learned here will help us develop new methodologies for introducing kratom to veterans.

If enough veterans learn how to incorporate kratom into their personal wellness journey, the message will spread. And it’ll happen even if the VA or FDA don’t reevaluate their position on kratom. We encourage you to learn more about ATF, donate to the cause, and get involved personally. The best place to start is by checking out some of the great resources on their site.

And a special thanks to the Top Tree community for helping make this all happen. We’re truly grateful to have a community that cares about making kratom a force for good in the world. Stay tuned because this is only the beginning.

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Sam Weber
Sam Weber is the co-founder of Top Tree Herbs. After serving in the Air Force and graduating from Columbia University in 2019, he worked in cannabis quality control. Sam founded Top Tree to make serious improvements to quality standards in the kratom industry, and to make kratom available to everyone - especially veterans. Sam organized the largest kratom tea survey, and continues to add to the scientific understanding of his beloved kratom tea leaf.

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